To avert sudden death, usually caused by heart failure, Nigerians have been asked to check their lifestyle.

A fatty deposit within the lining of the arteries causes heart failure.

Experts who gathered in Lagos, noted that to prevent heart failure people must shun smoking, take healthy foods, reduce salt intake, engage in regular physical activity, keep their weight and waist size down and drink alcohol in moderation.

They listed the dangers of heart failure, stating that it is imperative to seek medical check-up with qualified cardiologists from time to time, to facilitate preventive measures and ensure early diagnosis in some cases.

They pointed out that cardiovascular diseases are diseases of the heart or blood vessels. However, the term cardiovascular disease is used to describe diseases of the heart or blood vessels that are caused by atheroma. And the narrowing of the blood vessels can lead to cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease (for example, angina, heart attack and heart failure), cerebro-vascular disease (transient ischaemic attacks and stroke), and peripheral arterial disease.

According to a consultant cardiologist, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Prof. Micheal Balogun heart failure is responsible for about 30 percent of hospitalisation and eventual death in Nigeria.

Hence, the experts pointed out that one’s blood pressure and cholesterol level are highly important. All people aged over 40 years should have a cardiovascular health risk assessment – usually available at pharmacies, clinics and hospitals. If you have a high risk of developing a cardiovascular disease, treatment to reduce high blood pressure (hypertension) and/or cholesterol may be advised.

On the threats heart failure pose, Prof. Kamilu Karaye of Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital (AKTH), explained how the disease impede the everyday life of its sufferers; causing them constant pain, swollen legs, general discomfort, decline in social interaction, among others. The professor identified depression as one of the deadliest conditions that accompany heart failure, stating that without proper care or seeking professional help, the depression is likely to lead to suicide.

The cardiologists suggested that psychological and physical support from caregivers of heart failure patients is one of the most effective ways to improve their everyday life. They explained that close monitoring i.e. helping with the administration of medications, is also consequential in helping them lead a normal life.

Regular use of recommended medication by a qualified doctor or General Practitioner, eating healthy, minimising stress levels, and a few more were identified by the cardiologists as other imperative methods of managing heart failure among sufferers of the incurable disease.

Other cardiologists at the event included Consultant cardiologist, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Dr. Ikechukwu Ogah; Consultant cardiologist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Amam Mbakwem; Consultant cardiologist, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Dr. Maclean Akpa; Consultant cardiologist, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Prof. Ibraheem Katibi; and Consultant cardiologist, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Dr. Dike Ojji.


Source: The Nation Newspaper